He added If the aim was to get Iran to buckle and give in to its demands, then it is a total failure because if anything it has made Iran’s leaders more determined and made the country more determined as a whole. Edward is a lecturer in politics and international dtudies at the Open University speaks to ILNA news agency and confirmed "The measures that Iran is taking are not a violation as they are permitted in the face of renewed sanctions. If sanctions are removed then Iran will respond in kind."
Here is his full Interview with ILNA news agency about Trump foreign policy in Middle East:
Q: First of all what is your analysis of tension in Persian Gulf?
A: In my opinion the tensions in the Persian Gulf stem from the current nature of the alliance that the US has built with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. By choosing to furnish these autocratic regimes with as much weaponry as possible, and through helping to enable their vicious campaign in Yemen and their malign influence across the region, the United States has shown that it has sold regional security to the highest bidder.
By enabling these young, ambitious crown prince's such as MBS and MBZ, the US is complicit in their reckless actions – many of which are aimed against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Foolish actions by the US and its allies, such as the attempted piracy of Iranian oil tankers, and attempts to reduce its oil exports, necessarily have knock on effect which has the potential to increase tensions in the Persian Gulf.
Q: And, how about Iran; does the U.S.-Iran relationship have a Future?
A: It is unclear at the moment due to the continued efforts by US lawmakers to impeach President Trump. He has proved that he is only interested in photo-ops – most likely to help is re-election bid if he is allowed to get that far. He offers very little substance in terms of what he expects in any new deal. I think that his lack of experience and knowledge about international affairs has become very apparent in his actions towards Iran. He would probably agree to the terms of the JCPOA if it was labeled in his name – but he has a personal vindictive quality to his politics that means he cannot stomach something that was agreed by his predecessor. So the future is unclear. He has no appetite for military confrontation with Iran, but his policies thus far have been a total failure – so he needs a serious rethink about his approach to relations with the Islamic Republic.
Q: Does Trump's maximum pressure policy change the current situation?
A: The whole maximum pressure policy is failure for Trump and his team. If the aim was to get Iran to buckle and give in to its demands, then it is a total failure because if anything it has made Iran’s leaders more determined and made the country more determined as a whole. The Iranian economy is not as dependent on oil compared to many of its neighbors, and so it can weather the economic pressure applied by the US. The policy of maximum pressure just paints the US in a bad light – it is a nasty, punitive policy dreamed up by hardliners in his foreign policy team, who have a very tenuous grasp on the realities of life and politics in the region.
Q: In this regards. You believe that Iran's move to reduce its commitments was appropriate or not?
A: We have seen that Iran has made incremental steps to reduce parts of its commitments, but I think that it has played a savvy and calculated strategic game in this regard. The measures that Iran is taking are not a violation as they are permitted in the face of renewed sanctions. If sanctions are removed then Iran will respond in kind.
Q: Why should the United States bother thinking about Iranian-American negotiations?
A: I think that the only way this would be possible is if the US removes all its punitive sanctions and returns to its commitments under the JCPOA. With Trump, anything is possible – but I think it will be unlikely in the near future, while the US continues with its hostile policies towards Iran.. He is someone who is driven by ego and financial gain. He sees possibilities for personal prestige if he secures a meeting with Rouhani. If his desire for this kind of personal gain that will enhance his political standing is so strong then he will have to re-assess his wrong-headed policies of the past and start again. Iran has always shown that is willing to negotiate so long as its wishes and rights are respected.
Q: Such negotiations are fruitful?
A: I agree that this is one of the current issues preventing Iran’s leaders from meeting with Trump and re-negotiating a deal that had already been agreed with the rest of the world and was violated by unilateral US action. The US has shown that it cannot be trusted, and the fact that the US-North Korea talks have resulted in little more than some vague declarations and a few symbolic photographs, shows that there is little substance there.
Q: Do you believe that another war is likely in the world?
A: I don’t think anyone, not even the US, has the appetite for yet another devastating conflict in the Middle East. As always, it will be the people that suffer the consequences – as they have done for centuries when faced with imperial aggression from outside or from regional clients.
Q: How do you evaluate what is happening in Lebanon and Iraq?
A: The current situation in both countries is very fluid. What we are seeing, in part, is an articulation of dissatisfaction with the current ruling elites and systems of government. However, such protests can be easily open to manipulation by foreign powers, so it’s important that it is the true people’s voice that is being articulated.